I for one know I have felt like I wasn’t enough a good majority of my life.
I am a habitual “prover”. What I mean by that is that I was always trying to prove my worth to anyone and everyone around me. I’m pretty sure this all stimmed from my childhood. I didn’t grow up in one of those families that was super supportive, and celebrated accomplishments. That actually has never really happened for me. I’ve discussed it before, but I was the first person to graduate college on my Dad’s side of the family. I finished my first bachelor’s degree in three years because I kind of wanted to prove a point that I could accomplish something no one else in my family had, quicker than they thought I could. I killed myself. I never took any time off. I went from fall to winter intersession, to spring semester, to some more intersession. Year round for three years. I now look back at my teenage self and see how crazy I was for not fully enjoying my college experience, time I will never get back. Something inside me had to prove to my family that I could be successful, and not piss my college years away partying.
I’ve told the story before in a previous post, but when I graduated my mom said something along the lines of “what do you want a pat on the back? You just graduated college.” The just was a “you didn’t really accomplish much” jab. It wasn’t enough.
When I decided to go back to get my bachelor’s in nursing school, I thought wow my family is going to be proud of me for getting two degrees. No one really asked me how I was doing in school. They didn’t really seem to care that I went through an accelerated program, and got my second bachelors in 15 months (psychotic, I know). Once again going year round until I wanted to cry (and I did cry a SHIT ton) or admit myself to an insane asylum (I didn’t).
I started a blog and fertility t-shirt line that hasn’t gone terribly. I know some of my family read my blog, but they don’t know how hard I’ve worked to accomplish some of the things I’ve done through the all mighty and powerful social media. They weren’t proud of my writing or my passion behind infertility awareness. Some of them actually talked shit about my social media behind my back. I wasn’t surprised. I think people who are insecure show their true colors when they see others that are dominating their goals.
I went to Haiti on a medical mission, and I thought “they are going to be so proud of what a giving heart I have”. They weren’t.
I got accepted into graduate school at UT for my masters in nursing to become a nurse practitioner. I got a 4.0 my first semester. I still rarely get asked how school is going, most of them don’t acknowledge the fact I go to school. I have to tell them “HEY, I GOT A 4.0”. I’m fucking proud as hell of myself. So why do I feel so empty after all my accomplishments?!?!
I was seeking approval of others, specifically in these cases my family, who are not very giving of compliments. My accomplishments have always been downplayed by them… why?! I honestly couldn’t tell you that. I spent 33 years of my life hoping that one of them would say “Wow, you’re a badass. You work so hard; your determination is second to none.” I finally realized I’ll never get that from them, and I have to be okay with that.
Something hit me after I ended a terrible relationship (#NachoTwat for those who keep up with me). I was tired of pleasing other people. I was tired of giving a shit what anyone thought about me. I was tired of trying to prove my worth to other people.
I’ve come to accept that my family will probably never give me the approval I’ve been searching for my entire life. I have to be proud of myself. I have to be fulfilled within me. It took me 33 years to get to this point, and I hope for you youngins’ out there, that you figure this out quicker than I did because I can’t describe how much happier I am since my fucks flew out the window. ((Flying fucks are everywhere in the greater Houston area.)) Doing stuff to try to get approval, respect, or love from anyone else won’t fulfill you if you aren’t doing it for yourself. Here comes my Gandhi moment, you knew it was coming……
“Stop looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love – you have a treasure within that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.” – Eckhart Tolle